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OK, How Is This Not Trademark Infringement?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Cnotey, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    So, my latest venture has me on a fairly fine line with trademark infringement, so I've been researching it heavily. I deal with contract law on a daily basis, but my IP law is a little rusty since college. I'm always keeping my eyes open for trademark infringement so I can get a better understanding.

    I was poking around on facebook today and noticed this. How the f*ck is this not trademark infringement?

    [​IMG]

    From what I understand, not only the name is trademarked, but in addition the poster picture that they all use is copyrighted.
     
  2. Virus1

    Virus1 Supreme Member

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    It is trademark and copyright infringement until the owner wants it to be.

    Most movies let you build fan clubs around them... allowing you to use their posters and name.... but you cannot make a business out of it.
     
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  3. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    Hrm, that was kind of my thought too. I wish I had some lawyer buddies to give some input. Where's Teengenie when you need him? lol.

    Trying to brush up on my IP law skills as my new business is doing pretty well, but I don't want to lose it all in a lawsuit.
     
  4. raven123

    raven123 Regular Member

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    It's because they are no-profit groups. As soon as the holder of the rights files a claim, you know they will be down in a second.

    EDIT: Are you sure this belongs in BlackHat SEO? or in the lounge?
     
  5. Kickflip

    Kickflip BANNED BANNED

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    I would think the pages are allowed under Fair Use for commentary purposes. Another thing to consider is that the pages should in reality help to promote and increase loyalty among the show, and therefore the trademark/copyright owner would have no reason to complain.

    They aren't claiming ownership of the product (except maybe the "oficial").
    They aren't offering the product for sale/free.
    They aren't making false claims about the product.

    Can't see any reason why the owners of the product would want them taken down, unless their own fan page was performing horribly in comparison, but due to the cult nature of the show, I think they are better off allowing lots of smaller discussions to take place to avoid heated arguments/fights which would just cause people to avoid the main page and require them to hire more moderators.
     
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  6. Winchester

    Winchester BANNED BANNED

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    It's covered under fair use policy - http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackhat-seo/business-tax-advice/369155-law-you-part-1-a.html
     
  7. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    Fair use is a funky thing. Fair use is constituted by:

    commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship.

    It must pass the four factor balancing test of purpose and character, nature of the copied work, effect upon the work's value, and amount and sustainability.

    From what I have been able to find, fair use isn't a plausible defense for this subject because those pages have a negative effect upon the work's value, (i.e. fans).

    All of the fans of the other pages are fans that the official one has lost. This is where I am getting confused. Because you see this all the time.
     
  8. Kickflip

    Kickflip BANNED BANNED

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    That is a very bold assumption to make. I am not sure if you just don't agree with my explanation regarding that, didn't read it, or didn't understand it, but I very clearly (I think) explained why the copyright/trademark holder would/could want smaller fan pages to exist.

    The work itself is the show, The Walking Dead. The fans are still watching the show, and are actually more engaged and dedicated to the show, because of the fan pages. The only value the official fan page has is to market their other products to the fans. The actual work itself is not threatened in any way.
     
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  9. Cnotey

    Cnotey Power Member

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    This is the logic I was looking for. Thanks.
     
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